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Tales Series > by Series > Tales of Phantasia

About Tales of Phantasia

Tales of Phantasia - The Original Tales Title

Tales of Phantasia is a role-playing video game originally developed by Wolf Team. It is the first title in Namco's Tales series. Initially released for the Super Famicom in December 1995, it was later ported to a number of other platforms, including a Japan-exclusive version for the PlayStation in December 1998 and a Game Boy Advance version published by Namco in Japan in August 2003. It was later published by Nintendo in North America and Europe in March 2006, which marked the first time the game was officially available in English. Tales of Phantasia's story was based on an unpublished Japanese novel called Tale Phantasia written by the game's total programmer Yoshiharu Gotanda. The world was primarily based around Norse mythology with science fiction elements were incorporated and some names taken from the works of Michael Moorcock and H. P. Lovecraft to accommodate fans of western fantasy fiction.


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Tales (known as "Tales of" in Japan) is a franchise of fantasy role-playing video games (RPG) by Bandai Namco Entertainment. Debuting in 1995 with Tales of Phantasia for the Super Famicom, the brand currently spans 16 main titles, multiple spin-off games and supplementary media in the form of manga, anime and audio dramas. The series can be divided into two main categories; the Mothership titles develop the main plot, while the Escort titles (also called spin-off titles) focus on side-stories. Tales of the World is a sub-series under the Escort title and heavily emphasizes the crossover appearances of characters from past games.

Tales of Phantasia begins as four heroes are locked in battle with a powerful sorcerer king named Dhaos. Before he can be defeated, Dhaos uses his magic to travel several years into the future, where he is immediately met by one of the four warriors' descendants and three companions, who seal him away with two magic pendants. 12 years later, two young men named Cress and Chester return to their village to find it completely destroyed by a dark knight named Mars. Mars's army kills many of the town's inhabitants, including Cress's parents and Chester's sister, which kicks off a passionate adventure.

The original Super Famicom release of Tales of Phantasia received a 30/40 total score from Japanese Weekly Famitsu magazine based on individual review scores of 8, 7, 6, and 9. Readers of the magazine would later declare the game to be their favorite Namco title of all time in an August 2003 poll. GameFan's panel of three reviewers scored it 90, 86, and 82 out of 100 with one of the reviewers proclaiming it "is the best RPG I've ever played in Japanese on the Super Famicom." Sales of the title were slow during its debut month, with a total of 212,000 copies sold in the region. Producer Makoto Yoshizumi contributed the slow start to being released at nearly the same time as Enix's popular Dragon Quest VI. While the PlayStation remake scored slightly lower in Famitsu in 1998, it ended up being far more commercially successful by selling around 769,000 copies in Japan.

In Tales of Phantasia's Linear Motion Battle System (LMBS), the fight is played out on a two-dimensional terrain that usually stretches wider than a single screen width, so the screen can scroll to the left and to the right, depending on where the characters and opponents are relatively located. As opposed to most other turn-based systems where the player controls the individual actions of every party member, in LMBS the player only directly controls the main character in real-time. The other characters in the party can be set to passive mode (defend only), active mode and attack (computer controlled), or the player can often force the characters to move or use a spell from the pause menu. For the titles that allow multiplayer, the other party characters can be controlled by other human players.